Monday, September 16, 2013

Daniels De-junk 2013

I think my life is a long series of distractions, at least my current life. I try to stick to one project, but somehow veer off to other ones leaving behind, well, just a lot of unfinished projects. And a bunch of messes. I'd like to blame everything on my kids, but I know that my projects and I are not innocent in this regard.

I had a goal last month (and frankly the month before too) to hang our family pictures. I got the big one on the wall but I hadn't hung any of the kids' yet. Sounds easy enough. But could I just hang them in regular frames? No. It had to turn into a project. I had to build frames, and paint them, and put a chevron pattern on them and distress them. This all took way longer than just "hanging pictures" would have. So once I finally got that all done and held them up against our cream colored walls in the living room, I realized that the room needed to be painted. Once again, not the most difficult thing. But wait, instead of just painting the whole room, I decided that now would be a good time to do the board and batten that I had planned on doing "someday" even before moving into this house. So I proceeded to do some drawing, measuring, buying wood, cutting and ripping some of the baseboards off (no turning back now). Really, that didn't take all that long. And just think how good the pictures would look in the living room after this was done. But when I went to paint the boards, my paint sprayer wouldn't work! Not even Jared has been able to fix it yet and that guy can fix anything, I tell you. So all this momentum I had was suddenly halted because of a broken paint sprayer. Ugh. (It really is hard to live without... I use it a lot!)

Here's a little preview of the frames I made.
So, after moping around about it for about a day and a half, I decided that I should probably go through the house and de-junk. That all makes sense, right? The pictures needed to be hung so now I am sitting in the hall at midnight surrounded by the contents of the linen closet (that's where I started). See how I get distracted? But, it needed to be done anyway. Don't get me wrong, I feel like I am always de-junking, getting rid of stuff and organizing. But this time I have been much more motivated to get rid of stuff, probably because I often feel over-run by stuff. We already have enough necessary stuff just living as a family of 7 (backpacks, shoes, towels, dishes, etc.) that I just wanted to get rid of anything that wasn't doing us any good. I have spent 6 days on it so far, and I am not done yet. This may sound like a lot of time, but mind you, I still have two and a half at home to take care of, and one of them keeps wanting to actually play with me.

I decided to make four bins labeled "Keep", "Donate", "Sell" and "Trash".  This helped so much because I could make a quick decision and toss an item into one of these. Once they were full I emptied them. I think I've gone to the trash 5 o 6 times and to the car more times with the donate bin. It's such a good feeling! Every time I finished a space, it's like I cleared a space in my head as well. This keeps me motivated. Things may not look that much different on the outside, but I know that everything is organized on the inside, and that is a good feeling.
I started at the top. First I did the linen closet (and so far, this is the only spot that has stayed completely clean). Sometimes after the kids have gone to bed I open it up and just admire it. Then I went through Marissa and Hallie's room. I took out most of the toys and I think Marissa is relieved to have less stuff in there. It will take her very little time to clean her room. In addition to throwing away some toys and games that had been through enough torture, and giving some things away, I decided to keep half the toys in storage so that when she gets sick of the ones she has, she can trade for these. But I only kept the ones I like and that are still good, or that I think Hallie will enjoy someday. Then I moved onto the boys' room. I had just organized it recently so this one didn't take too long, but now they are able to play with things and hopefully not feel too overwhelmed with cleaning up because everything has a place. I didn't worry about making things look too cute or exactly how I want things to look because I wanted to get through the whole house (sometimes I get bogged down with that). I did a little in the laundry room (all but one drawer and a pile of too small clothes) and organized the drawers and cabinets in the kids' bathroom. Then I moved onto our bedroom closet. I had kind of been dreading this one because it had been neglected for so long. I go through the kids' clothes all the time but I hardly ever go through mine. I decided to be very honest about my clothes and my current size and got rid of about 1/3 of my clothes. I only wear the ones I really like anyway. You have no idea how liberating that was. I also went through things that were on the floor (I found a clock that I'd been looking for for like a year and another glue gun, bringing the total to three). Then I went through all the bins on the shelves at the top of the closet (mission stuff, college stuff, pictures, keepsakes, etc.) Am I sounding like a hoarder? Sometimes I wonder. I now feel okay about the amount of stuff up there. It's like a breath of fresh air to look in the closet now. Ahh. Then I went through the master bedroom. Got rid of books, went through drawers, cleaned under the bed. I even made the bed. Turns out, Jared has very little stuff. I only had a small pile and box for him to go through. And he doesn't buy things, like hardly ever. So I feel lucky about that, except that it means it's my fault if there's too much stuff around.

The upstairs isn't perfect. I don't think it ever will be. I never got to Erin's room (because she wanted to be there) and there's always more clothes to go through, especially as the seasons are changing, but I feel good about it over all. Next I came downstairs to the main floor and cleaned the hall closet, the entry table and the living room. Hey, I also found the Dremmel kit that had mysteriously gone missing for months and the letter "D" that I'd also been wanting to hang up. Then on Saturday we all went down to the most dreaded space of all, the basement. My painting stuff was looking bad, so I don't blame the kids for the whole basement... but they had made a very elaborate contraption for the current and ongoing game they are playing that involved chairs, blankets, pillows, jump ropes, food storage, luggage, Easter eggs, Christmas and Halloween decorations, boxes and other random and unknown things down there that almost completely blocked the food storage room. I felt like a contortionist every time I needed something and had to get by there. So it was bad. Really bad. We got a lot done, but I still have more to do. This week I want to finish the basement, go through the family room, finish the drop zone and do the garage. Definitely doable after all that I've already done. And I'll be happy to take that trip to DI this week too. My trunk is getting pretty full.

THEN maybe the living room project will get done and our pictures will finally get hung.

Hopefully they won't be outdated by then.

P.S. I just finished the basement :-)


Heather said...

you are awesome! ummm, if i did that for 2 hours a day, I might be done in a year! true story. We've mostly only collected children and stuff and more stuff and more junk since we've moved here. we need a fresh start with less stuff. i'm going to try the bins and see if that helps me! a place for everything... and everything in it's place!

oh hey - do you want in on the frozen berries group order?

Lynette said...

We need this so bad. We've only been in our house a year and I already feel like we're hoarding. It's bad. You've inspired me. Maybe it will happen now! And why whenever you do projects do they look amazing and whenever I do projects, they look home-made by a 3rd grader?!

Lisa said...

You go girl! Our 'de-junking' happens once every move (about every two years) and we have never been organized until this summer. My husband took the kids to his parents house for a week and I stayed home and organized. It felt good! Sounds like you did a great job.

HeatherWasHere said...

Good work! There aren't many things that get me feeling better than a good organizing bout. Now I get to feel good through you!!